Is there really the greatest time to publish on Instagram?
Since Instagram switched to an algorithm-based feed in 2016, the question of timing has become particularly fraught. If posts do not show up chronologically, does the time you publish them even matter anymore?
The answer is yes, to an extent.
The Instagram algorithm favors “recency” when it determines which posts you’ll see in your feed. Although no longer strictly chronological, it’s designed to serve you fresh content material that you are likely to engage with.
Meaning newer posts are more likely to appear in your feed first, no matter how many times you refresh it.
What does this mean for brands? You should be sure your posts are “recent” when your followers are most likely to be online.
That method, they will be more likely to see, like, and engage with your content material.
Below, we will show you the best time and day of the week to publish on Instagram based on your industry, utilizing data from 258,956 posts and the top 20 Instagram accounts in North America from 11 different industries.
We will also show you use this information to inform your publishing schedule.
When is the best time to publish on Instagram?
One simple method to find out when your followers are online and most likely to engage with your content material is by digging into your Instagram analytics.
However, it’s also useful to search out what times work for other brands in your industry, particularly when you are starting from scratch.
Utilizing information from Unmetric, a social media benchmarking software, we analyzed the top 20 Instagram accounts in 11 different industries over the span of 18 months to search out when their posts received the most engagement.
Keep in mind: timing could not make up for bad content material. As a metric, timing should only be used to boost Instagram content material that’s already optimized to perform well.
Also, just because these are the “best times to publish” doesn’t mean you could not publish content material at any other time. A solid Instagram strategy makes room for a lot of experimentation and testing.
Your brand and your followers are unique. What works for some brands might not work for others (i.e., YMMV).
These timing suggestions work greatest as beginning points and are meant to be supplemented with internal data. They’re timezone agnostic.
Travel & Tourism
Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
According to Unmetric data, brands in this industry experienced the most engagement with their Instagram content material once they posted at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m., but also 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. (in more recent quarters).
Normally, Friday was the best performing day for Travel and Tourism brands on Instagram, followed by Tuesday and Monday.
Likely, followers of those accounts are primed to engage with travel content as they plan their weekends. On Monday and Tuesday, but they could be reminiscing about their time on the beach or the slopes.
When not to publish: When you are beginning fresh in the Instagram travel industry, keep away from posting after 1 p.m. Also keep away from weekends, when your followers are having their own adventures #irl.
Brands included: The Museum of Modern Art, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, The Met, Beaches N Resorts, Guggenheim Museum, Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Disney Cruise Line, Four Seasons, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Ritz Carlton, Space X, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Airbus, LATAM Airlines, Singapore Airlines
Media & Entertainment
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 3 p.m.
According to Unmetric data, the top 20 Instagram accounts in Media and Entertainment experienced the most engagement once they posted at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., followed by 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
Audiences are likely scrolling via their feeds during lunch hour and into the old “afternoon slump,” searching for a burst of inspiration or humor to get them via the rest of their day.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are the clear winners for engagement by day-of-the-week in this industry. However, Mondays and Saturdays are also robust performers.
This might mean any number of things, however, followers likely discover media and entertainment Instagram content material engaging regardless of the day it is posted on. That it’s served to such a big audience means that this category has to account for a wide range of utilization behaviors, too.
When not to publish: Mornings.
Brands included: National Geographic, Humans of New York, E! News, ESPN, Tasty, Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed, Vogue, Playboy, HYPEBEAST, Marvel Entertainment, TIME, 9GAG, EA Sports FIFA, SportsCenter, Disney, Netflix, Ellen, Lonely Planet, Epic Reads
Food & Beverage
Fridays at 12 p.m.
This one’s hardly a surprise. Top accounts in the food and beverage industry have the most success posting at 12 p.m., when many people are taking a break from their workday to consume, well, food and beverages.
Whether they are searching for inspiration, motivation, or something tastier than their own #saddesklunch, lunch hour is the clear winner in terms of engagement. In case your brand only posts once a day, that is the time to do it.
Fridays are the most engaging day of the week, on average. However, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday are also robust contenders for this industry.
When not to publish: Newcomers to this Instagram community should keep away from posting outside of mealtimes.
Brands included: Redbull, So Yummy, Monster Energy, Oreo, Coca-Cola, Flavorgod Seasonings, CakeGuide, Food52, Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon, Corona, Burger King, Dunkin’, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, KFC, Starbucks Coffee, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A Inc.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12 p.m.
Lunch hour is also popular outside of the food and beverage industry. Top retail brands have the most success engaging their Instagram followers at this time too, particularly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
When not to publish: When you are just beginning a retail-focussed Instagram account, keep away from posting outside of the lunch hour window, a.k.a, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Brands included: Nike, Victoria’s Secret, adidas Originals, Nike Football (Soccer), H&M, Zara, Adidas Football, Footlocker, ASOS, boohoo.com, Target, HomeGoods, Nordstrom, Who What Wear, AliExpress, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana
Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.
On average, top skilled services brands appear to have the most luck posting early on in the workday, particularly on Fridays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
These kinds of companies often publish helpful educational content material to their Instagram feeds, like links to blog posts or videos. Likely, people prefer to consume this kind of content earlier in the day rather than later. And while they are at work, already in the mood to do so.
When not to publish: When you’re a brand new professional services account, keep away from posting on weekends and evenings, unless your information tells you otherwise.
Manufacturers included: Pursuit of Portraits, Lootcrate, Roam, Progressive Calisthenics, Ogilvy, Later.com, VaynerMedia, Wieden+Kennedy, MAKERS, Leo Burnett, Huge, TBWA WORLDWIDE, Hootsuite, Accenture, 72andsunny, AKQA, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, DDB Worldwide, Droga5
Tuesday at 4 p.m. or 10 a.m.
Unmetric’s information shows that the top 20 non-profit brands on Instagram have had the most success, on average, posting at 4 p.m.
However, for the first half of 2018, followers engaged the most with content material posted at 10 a.m. So consider both 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. when crafting your own Instagram schedule.
Content material posted on Tuesdays received the most engagement, however, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays were also high performers.
When not to publish: unless your analytics show otherwise, non-profit brands need to keep away from posting outside of business hours on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Brands included: TED Talks, WWF International, UNICEF, World Wildlife Fund, Malala Fund, Greenpeace International, TeamUSA, Oceana, UNWomen, UNESCO, Save the Children, Ducks Unlimited Inc, Love Your Melon, James Beard Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, UN Refugee Agency, UN Environment, Planned Parenthood, Charity Water, UNICEF USA
Thursday at 9 p.m. or 4 p.m.
The top non-retail e-commerce brands have the most success posting on Instagram at night and in the early evening on all weekdays, however, particularly Thursday. 9 p.m. was the most successful time, followed closely by 4 p.m.
This category contains brands like Bumble, Tinder, Grindr, and Match. It is possible that followers are most primed to engage with entertaining, romance-focussed content after work.
When not to publish: New brands in this space should consider not posting during their followers’ workdays.
Brands included: Bumble, Tinder, Groupon, Kickstarter, Sotheby’s International Realty, Grindr, Postmates, Zoosk, Zomato, Omaze, Match, Ticketmaster, Hinge, Ibotta Inc., Yelp, Seatgeek, Ancestry, Eventbrite, Foodler, Grubhub
Pharma & Healthcare
Wednesday and Sunday at 9 a.m.
The top brands in this category are largely fitness-focussed accounts and their followers tend to engage the most with content material posted on Instagram at 9 a.m.
Wednesday and Sunday are the top performing days. That is likely when people are in search of a motivational increase (in the middle of their workweek, or before the workweek begins). However, Monday and Saturday are also high performers.
When not to post: Always take time to experiment, however, keep away from posting outside of morning hours when you’re searching for tons of engagement.
Brands included: Fit Girls Guide, Instagram Body Building, How To Meal Prep, Home Workouts For You, CrossFit, Healthy Fitness Meals, Fit Healthy Recipes, Ab Workouts, Shredz, GYM HELP, FitTea, Flat Tummy Co, Tone It Up, Ig_WeightLoss, Fitness Motivation, How To Get Abs, Skinny Bunny Tea, Zumba, The Squat Guide, Glutes
Friday and Thursday at 1, 2, or 3 p.m.
Largely cosmetics-focussed, the top accounts in this category discover the most success posting in early afternoon near the end of the workweek. But Tuesdays and Wednesdays are additionally good choices. Save your greatest content for those times and days.
When not to post: New brands in this space should keep away from putting lots of effort into posting on weekends or outside the afternoon.
Brands included: Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie Cosmetics, M·A·C Cosmetics, Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Tarte Cosmetics, Too Faced Cosmetics, Urban Decay Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics, Maybelline New York, Morphe Brushes, ColourPop Cosmetics, L’Oréal Paris Makeup, FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, Ulta Beauty, Kat Von D Beauty, NARS Cosmetics, YSL Beauty, Makeup For Ever, Smashbox Cosmetics
Monday and Tuesday at 2 p.m.
The top tech Instagram accounts get the most engagement, on average, once they publish on Tuesday at 2 p.m. More recently, but their top performing day has switched to Monday. Both days are good choices to publish.
When not to publish: There’s no purpose not to experiment with your posting schedule. Just be sure to also publish on Monday and Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Brands included: Instagram, Facebook, Apple, Google, NARS Cosmetics, Vevo, Adobe Photoshop, iTunes, Windows, GoPro, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Beats by Dre, Samsung Mobile, OnePlus, Sony Mobile, HTC, Sony,
Thursday at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.
Everybody knows the weekend begins on Friday for college students. So, when you’re a post-secondary educational institution (like lots of the top accounts in this space), be sure to catch your followers before they tune you out: on Thursday at 4 or 5 p.m..
But Fridays and Wednesdays are additionally high performers for educational institutions on Instagram. Some people are paying consideration on Fridays, it seems.
11 a.m. and 12 p.m. are additionally good choices for timing.
When not to publish: It is probably greatest to keep away from early mornings and weekends, however, something is possible.
Brands included: Harvard, Smithsonian, Stanford, Teachers Pay Teachers, New York Public Library, Skillshare, Harvard Business School, We Are Teachers, Yale, Udemy, Princeton, Texas A&M University, University of Michigan, Goodreads, UCLA, Bluprint, Ohio State University, Columbia University, New York University, Full Sail